In our third gallery from the GT Open from Silverstone, Matt Hancock takes a look at the race 1 action…first the race review!
Albert Costa and Giacomo Altoè untied themselves and became again sole leaders in the International GT Open, as they took their third win of the season in a Race 1 at Silverstone marked by two safety-car periods. The pair is now 7 points clear of the Teo Martín McLaren of Henrique Chaves-Martin Kodrić, today fourth. It was again a 1-2 for the Emil Frey Racing Lamborghinis, as Mikael Grenier-Norbert Siedler took second, with Miguel Ramos-Fabrizio Crestani (SPS Mercedes) completing the overall podium. Four different brands were represented in the top-4.
Jiatong Liang and Raffaele Giammaria (Ratón Racing by Target Lamborghini) took their second Pro-Am win of the year, with Portuguese duo Manuel Da Costa-Miguel Sardinha conquering their first Am win at the wheel of the Sports&You Mercedes AMG.
THE RACE – At the start, poleman Altoè keeps the advantage, while Saravia from row 2 kicks-off perfectly, taking second from Siedler, then are Kodrić, Ramos, Spinelli and Gonda but drama sparks immediately as Hahn goes out against the wall at Maggotts and few meters later at Stowe, Schandorff spins and is collected by Razak and Wilkinson. The Ombra Lambo ends its race against the wall, while the Aston is able to rejoin the pits, while the safety-car is deployed.
The yellow period will go on for over 20 minutes and very shortly after the race resumes, the window for driver change opens, with strategies being completely disrupted. At the restart, Altoè was leading ahead of Saravia, Siedler, Kodric, Ramos, Spinelli and Gonda, but after only one lap, Altoè, Saravia and Kodric were in for driver change, leaving Sidler in the lead. In the meantime, after long repairs, the Optimum Aston has rejoined the race, nine laps behind.
After all driver changes, Costa leads with less than second over Grenier, then 8 seconds aback, Chaves leads a group with Crestani, Rueda, Visser and Zampieri. The race, though, does not go on for long, as the safety-car is deployed again in lap 18 to rescue Roda’s Mercedes, which stops along the track in a huge cloud of smoke. There is also oil on the track in turns 5 and 6.
At the restart, Costa leas on Grenier, with Chaves and Crestani fighting fiercely for third (with the Mercedes passing in lap 21), then Rueda, Visser, Giammaria and Tujula, while Turner and Zampieri go to the pits. There won’t be any more significant changes, except for Sardinha taking the Am lead, also because of a drive-through inflicted to Cipriani for excessive speed in the pit lane.
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By Matt Hancock with PR
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